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Looking at work through the lenses of the person and work of the Spirit and the Christian hope sharpens our theology of work, according to Maggie Kappelhoff. Drawing on the work of Miroslav Volf, she suggests that the theme of humans as co-creators with God helps us see the Spirit’s work in our work, and recognise the eschatological significance of workers and their work.
Full Title : Theology of Work: Eschatology, Co-Creativity, and the Pneumatological Impetus
In his 2001 monograph, Work in the Spirit: Toward a Theology of Work, Miroslav Volf helpfully draws together the doctrines of pneumatology and eschatology to reimagine ‘work’ from a fresh perspective. Shedding traditional views with limiting concepts in relation to vocation and the Holy Spirit, Volf reimagines the scope of work set against an eschatological backdrop which allows for not only a lasting significance of human work, but that ‘work’ is to be understood as “cooperation with God” for the purpose of world preservation and ultimate transformation. Volf prepares a solid foundation for the understanding of transformatio mundi—but it is this theme of “cooperation with God” or “co-creativity” that this paper desires to engage with more fully. More specifically, how “co-creativity” across an eschatological backdrop is to be considered in light of understanding the dynamic work of the Holy Spirit with the human agent. Drawing from Volf’s understanding of Christ as eschatological, Father as protological, and the Holy Spirit as pneumatological, this paper will seek to consider how ‘we’ as humans are the ‘work’ as ‘we work’ through our work.
Maggie holds a Ph.D. in systematic theology from Charles Sturt University and St Marks National Theological Centre in Canberra (2015). Her dissertation, entitled The Marks of the Church as ‘Gift’ and ‘Task’: A Paradigm for the Twenty-First-Century Church, considers the transcendent and dynamic nature of the four creedal marks of the church: “one, holy, catholic, and apostolic” and their relevance for ecumenical dialogue. A related book chapter of the same name was published in 2015 in Hope in the Ecumenical Future (Pathways for Ecumenical and Interreligious Dialogue). Maggie’s qualifications, training, and experience are primarily in social work, theology, and higher education, and she currently works as the Dean of Academic Programs at The University of Divinity.
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